Thursday, June 16, 2016

THE JUNGLE WITHIN by Charles M



When Evan and Katie said “I do”, they expected to navigate life together side-by-side. But when a car accident and a tawdry affair disrupt life as they know it, Evan and Katie are forced to venture on alternate paths, alone.
In the darkest depths of an unforgiving coma, Evan fights to survive the treacherous jungle of his mind. He embarks on a spiritual journey to understand the meaning of life and the beauty of death…forcing him to face his deepest fear.
Meanwhile, Katie ventures through her own guilt. On a strenuous moral journey, she juggles the consequences of infidelity and the strain of caring for her unresponsive husband.
But are their paths truly separate? Or are they simply on parallel journeys that are destined to converge?

My thoughts...

A wife's infidelity and how each deal with it. Got this book on a Friday and finished it Sunday, it's so good. Like the characters and their development throughout. Captivating...compelling... I've been pondering since I finished it. Very well written with vivid descriptions, the desperation in the characters I could feel. Thoroughly enjoyable!

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

THE SPACE BETWEEN SISTERS



Return to Butternut Lake with New York Times bestselling author Mary McNear in a story where the complicated bonds of sisterhood are tested, long-kept secrets are revealed, and love is discovered…all during one unforgettable summer at the lake.

They are two sisters who couldn’t be more different. Win organized and responsible, plans her life with care. Poppy impulsive and undependable, leaves others to pick up the pieces. But despite their differences, they share memories of the idyllic childhood summers they spent together on the shores of Butternut Lake. Now, thirteen years later, Win, recovering from a personal tragedy, has taken refuge on Butternut Lake, settling into a predictable and quiet life.

Then, one night, Poppy unexpectedly shows up on her sister’s doorstep with her suitcases, an aging cat named Sasquatch, and a mysterious man in tow. Although Win loves her beautiful sister, she wasn’t expecting her to move in for the summer. At first, they relive the joys of Butternut Lake. But their blissful nostalgia soon gives way to conflict, and painful memories and buried secrets threaten to tear the sisters apart.

As the waning days of summer get shorter, past secrets are revealed, new love is found, and the ties between the sisters are tested like never before…all on the serene shores of Butternut Lake.

My thoughts...

What a great beach read! I've kept up with this family & others at Butternut Lake and have enjoyed each one thoroughly. This is a story about two sisters...one laid back the other completely opposite. Having grown apart over the years they end up at the family cabin where they empty themselves of all the hurts and pain that have accumulated. Their story is one of emptying, healing, and filling. Along with the bonding they experience romance which makes this an enjoyable read.

I won a copy of this book from LibraryThing, this is my honest review.

Friday, June 10, 2016

MY FATHER'S HOUSE



Growing up, life is idyllic for Lily Rose Cates due to one constant --- her father's love. But in her sixteenth summer, all that changes without warning. There begins Lily's struggle to find herself and the life she's lost. . . . Marriage promises fulfillment, but her happily-ever-after barely survives the honeymoon. Her husband's sophisticated fa├žade hides a brooding man with even darker secrets.

When all illusions shatter, Lily must make hard choices --- abandon her husband or risk losing much more than her marriage. She flees their home in Detroit and sets out on a fearful journey to a house in Georgia that her husband knows nothing about. This is one woman's compelling tale of love and survival as she finds her way back home to who she's meant to be . . . in her father's house.

My thoughts...

What an incredibly powerful novel, so well written I felt as though I was there with Lily...a woman that married an abusive man and her journey in life. When her father died she was swept off her feet by a man who promised her the moon. What she got was far from it. The story tells how Lily escaped from that life. I thought she was very immature and didn't wise up with all she'd been through but it really was a good read, fast paced and had a happy ending.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



Rose Chandler Johnson is the author of the award winning devotional God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments. My Father’s House is her first novel. She happily makes her home near Augusta, Georgia.

Purchase your copy here.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Student Bodies by Susan Israel

Student Bodies

by Susan Israel

on Tour June 1-30, 2016

Synopsis:

Student Bodies by Susan IsraelDelilah Price is still dealing with the consequences of her recent abduction, but she needs to keep her life on track. In order to survive as an artist in New York City, she has started working as a substitute teacher, which leaves her navigating between two worlds that are foreign to her – students and educators.

Detective Patrick Quick has taken up a big place in Delilah's life. That is, when he isn't consumed by a case. And right now the case that is taking Quick away from Delilah involves a serial rapist and is striking very close to home.

On her way to her first day of work, Delilah witnesses a young girl falling in front of a subway train – or was she pushed? The victim turns out to have been a student at the middle school where Delilah has been assigned to teach and the teacher she is subbing for is a missing person herself. As Delilah gets to know her students and befriends a teacher on staff, she realizes that many have been hiding dark secrets that suggest abuse and worse. And when yet another girl who has hinted strongly that she was abused is a no show to class, Delilah stops counting on police help and follows leads on her own. Putting a dangerous predator on her trail.

The dramatic follow-up to Susan Israel's debut suspense novel, Over My Live Body, Student Bodies is a novel rippling with tension and twists.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery Published by: The Story Plant Publication Date: May 31, 2016 Number of Pages: 230 ISBN: 9781611882278 Series: Connected to Over My Live Body by Susan Israel Purchase Links: Amazon Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

There never seems to be a train lighting up the tunnel when you need one in a hurry, but today one is there and the doors close just as the red message at the turnstile commands me to swipe my MetroCard through again. And again. Damn! I drop my MetroCard and get shoved by someone behind me. I turn around to give whoever it is a dirty look and see a dark-haired young girl wearing a pleated white dress. Late for her confirmation or something like that, I’m thinking. How long is that dress going to stay pristine down here? She looks dazed. I pick up my MetroCard and get through the turnstile on the next swipe, then step out of her way. She swipes hers, too, her hand shaking.

I head for the public phone to my right to call the school I’m supposed to be at to say I’m running a little late. Nobody answers. I’ll apologize profusely when I get there. When I turn back toward the platform, the girl is on her knees, her head bowed. She must really be late if it’s come to this. I’ve never seen anyone kneeling on a subway platform before. She closes her eyes. Commuters make a part around her. A street person starts singing “The Greatest Love Of All” in front of the newsstand, palm extended, asking for handouts. Commuters make a part around him too. They’re just obstacles, like the red, white and blue poles along the length of the platform. I turn back to look at the girl. Behind me I get a whiff of cheap cologne. The same cologne I smelled in Sachi’s bedroom. I whirl around. Anyone here could be wearing that cologne. And a lot of it too. I’m at a disadvantage. I don’t know who I’m looking for. Who here would be Sachi’s type? Do I know Sachi’s type?

I go over to the newsstand to get a bag of M & Ms, sniffling so much from the cologne that the news-vendor gestures to a pile of pocket tissues. “You got a cold? You want these too, miss?” I shake my head. My feet sense the vibration of the approaching train first and I start dropping change in my hurry to pay the vendor before I miss this train too. A scream punctuates the approach of the train. Trains don’t make noise like this. I whirl around and see a man with his hands extended in front of him. I can’t tell if he’s been grabbing at something or pushing something. The girl in the white dress literally flies in front of the train as it hisses to a stop. I cover my eyes for a split second and then force myself to look around me. A crowd forms around where the girl was kneeling just moments ago. More people scream. A couple of people lean over the platform and gag. I turn away again. I don’t want to believe what I think just happened actually happened.

“She jumped.”

“She was trying to get away from that person who grabbed her elbow.”

“It looked to me like he was trying to keep her from jumping.”

“It looked to me like he pushed her toward it.”

“Well, she’s gone anyway.”

“Call nine-one-one, someone, hurry!”

All of these accounts turn out to be soliloquies because nobody’s here to question these people, not yet. I take several deep breaths. I’ve lost the urge to sneeze. Whoever was wearing that cologne is gone. I take a good look at the faces on the platform. Quite a few of them have a distinct greenish tinge, blending well with the mosaics of beavers on the subway wall. I imagine mine must look that way too. I hear the squawk of police radios on the stairway. Suddenly blue uniforms swarm the platform and start buzzing orders. “Okay, everybody, stay back, give the EMS guys a chance to get through.”

“She’s beyond EMS,” one onlooker says.

“You a doctor, sir?”

“Uh, no…”

“Well then, stand back with everyone else and let someone qualified make that determination.”

A few people back up toward the turnstiles. Another officer stops them. “No one’s going nowhere just yet. We got a report this girl was pushed.”

“She wasn’t pushed. Looked to me like she was trying to get away from somebody and lost her footing.”

“That ain’t all she lost.”

“People, I’m going to have to ask you to stay over there by the newsstand out of our way till somebody asks you some questions about what happened here.”

A man standing next to me clears his throat. “I didn’t see anything, can I go?”

“No one’s going nowhere,” the officer snaps.

“Candy, gum, magazines,” the newsstand vendor chants in a heavily accented voice. “Get something to pass the time.”

“We want to talk to you too,” the officer says to the vendor.

I can’t see beyond the wall of blue lined up along the platform. I realize I still have the bag of M & Ms clutched in my hand. I’ve lost my craving for them and it’s so hot on the platform that I’m sure they’ll have melted before I leave. I look around for a trash can to throw them in and see more scuffed shoes descending the stairs. Then I see someone that makes my hand squish the life out of that bag of M & Ms altogether.

“Delilah,” Quick says as he starts toward me. “Did you see anything?” I have a distinct feeling just from the tone of his voice that he would rather I didn’t see anything.

It may be more a question of what I smelled. I shake my head. “I’m not sure. I don’t know if what I noticed would be very helpful.”

“Try me,” he says. Under other circumstances there is nothing I’d rather do. “Wait here. I’ll want to talk to you at the station.”

“I have to wait here?”

He nods. “Afraid so.” He mumbles a few asides to a uniformed cop to his right and then turns back to me. “I can’t say how long we’ll be. We’ve got to talk to a lot of witnesses.” He looks around. “As you can see. We want to talk to anyone who’s handicapped and elderly first, so they can go. We don’t want anyone having heat stroke down here.”

Another detective saunters up to him. “Girl did an Anna Karenina, from what I understand.”

Where did he come up with that? I wonder if an all points bulletin is going to be posted for someone named Vronsky. The uniforms start beckoning potential witnesses away from the platform, toward the benches against the wall and through the turnstiles. A detective sidles up to the newsstand behind me. A baby begins to wail loudly. “I got to nurse,” his mother protests, pulling at one of the policeman’s sleeve with her free hand.

He whirls around. “Hey, don’t do that.”

“I got to nurse. My baby hungry.”

“Sit over there,” he points to the row of benches behind me, next to the newsstand.

I look over at the pay phone, thinking I better call the school to say I’m not going to be able to make it, period, that they’re going to need a substitute for this substitute, and probably call Heidi Obermeyer, too, to tell her to get another model, but the line is longer than the line to cash checks in banks the first of the month. I hate doing a no-show but expect everybody will understand. At least I hope they will. The girl on the tracks is never going to show up for anything again. I’m beginning to smell vomit. I don’t know how long it takes for a dead body to start to smell and I don’t want to find out. I look over at Quick who’s deep in conversation with yet another witness. How can he stand this, dealing with death all the time? I start to walk farther down the platform, as far away from the mayhem as I can, until I can’t go any further.

“Miss, where you going?” someone calls out. I ignore him.

Then, “Delilah!”

I reel around. Quick waves me back and points to the congregation of witnesses clustered around the newsstand. “I need air,” I whisper to him, clutching my stomach. “I feel like I’m going to be sick.”

“Okay, hold on, I’ll get someone to escort you.” I wish I could hold on to him, witnesses be damned. “I want to talk to you at the house, not here. I’ll be there as soon as I’m finished up here.” He keeps watch on me as he takes a uniformed officer aside and then says something to him I can’t hear and gestures for me to go with him. I’d gladly follow someone into a cell as long as it meant getting away from this. But I’d rather it be Quick.

 

Author Bio:

Susan IsraelSusan Israel lives in Connecticut with her beloved dog, but New York City lives in her heart and mind. Her first novel, OVER MY LIVE BODY, was published by The Story Plant in 2014. A graduate of Yale College, her fiction has been published in Other Voices, Hawaii Review and Vignette, and she has written for magazines, websites and newspapers, including Glamour, Girls Life, Ladies Home Journal and The Washington Post. She’s currently at work on the third book in the Delilah Price series.

Catch Up: Susan Israel's twitter Susan Israel's facebook

 
 

Tour Participants:

Don't Miss Your Chance to Win :

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Susan Israel and The Story Plant. There will be 3 US winners. There will be THREE (3) winners for this tour. Each winner will receive one copy of Student Bodies by Susan Israel. US Residents may have their choice of eBook or Physical and worldwide winners will receive an eBook copy. The giveaway begins on June 1st and runs through June 30th, 2016.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

My thoughts...

Substitute teacher Delilah has a man in her life whose time isn't being spent with her and she decides to do something about it. When people start disappearing she does her own investigation which leads her into an exciting but very suspenseful adventure. Those around her have been hiding dark secrets...secrets that could get Delilah into trouble, but that doesn't stop her. I like the fast pace of this novel as well as the great characters & especially liked the ending! Keep them coming Susan!

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Killer Nashville Writer's Conference Scholarships

Writers who want to attend the The Killer Nashville Writers’ Conference but who may not have the financial means to go can enter to win The Lisa Jackson Scholarship (deadline July 1) or The Jimmy Loftin Memorial Scholarship (Deadline July 31). Winners will receive funds towards registration, breakout sessions, writing critique sessions, and lodging.

The Lisa Jackson Scholarship: The Lisa Jackson Scholarship is designed to help someone who is struggling financially attend The Killer Nashville Writers’ Conference. Funds will be awarded to authors who demonstrate need in an essay format. The money will be used to pay for attendance to the conference, breakout sessions, a critique, and lodging on a case-needed basis. Write a 500-word essay that illustrates your financial need and why you want to attend the Killer Nashville Writers’ Conference. Scholarships will be awarded by July 31, 2016. The conference is August 18-21, 2016 and is being held at the Embassy Suites Nashville South Cool Springs. Deadline: July 1, 2016. For entry details, see here.

The Jimmy Loftin Memorial Scholarship: The Jimmy Loftin Memorial Scholarship is designed to help someone who is struggling financially attend The Killer Nashville Writers’ Conference. Funds will be awarded to authors who demonstrate need in an essay format. The money will be used to pay for attendance to the conference, breakout sessions, a critique, and lodging on a case-needed basis. Write a 500-word essay that illustrates your financial need and why you want to attend the Killer Nashville Writers’ Conference. The conference is August 18-21, 2016 and is being held at the Embassy Suites Nashville South Cool Springs. Deadline: July 31, 2016. For entry details and prizes, see here.

The Killer Nashville Writers’ Conference was founded in 2006 by writer and filmmaker Clay Stafford as a trademarked charitable production of American Blackguard, Inc. With 500 participants every year, it has developed a reputation as a leading advocate for writers and readers of all genres. The next conference will be held August 18-21, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Join Denise Hunter for ‘The Convenient Groom’ Pre-Premiere Facebook Party

convenient groom - fb event 

Exciting news for fans of Denise Hunter's stories: Her book The Convenient Groom is making its silver screen premiere as a Hallmark Channel Original Movie! Join Denise and other readers on Facebook on June 16th for a fun author chat party at 8:00 PM EDT (that's 7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, & 5:00 Pacific)! Denise will be chatting about the book, answering your questions about the book-to-movie process, and of course, there will be plenty of fun giveaways too: a $100 Amazon gift card and 25 signed copies of Denise's newest book, The Goodbye Bride!

The movie releases two days after the author chat party on Saturday, June 18th, 9 EDT/8 CDT. Click here for details and to find out more about the movie.

Get your copy of The Convenient Groom so you're ready for a fun book discussion. You can order your copy and find out more about the book here.

Hope to see you on June 16 for Denise's The Convenient Groom Pre-Premiere Facebook Party!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Life Verse Creative Journal set



My thoughts...

This two-pack of beautiful journals (64 pages each) measures 7.25 x 5.8 x 0.55 and are the perfect size to fit into your bag, bible, or planner. There are fifteen verses highlighted with not only text but journaling prompts as well in one journal. Beautiful illustrations that allow you to use your creativity and let God's Word seep into your heart. The second journal is blank, fill the pages with your artwork, your daily thoughts or feelings, whatever you decide you won't be disappointed in these wonderful books.

I received a copy of this book free from B&H Publishers in exchange for an honest review.